Man falsely accused of rape jailed for 10 months

Article here. Excerpt:

'A man falsely accused of rape was jailed for 10 months, denied bail, treated like a social pariah, his lawyer says.

Christopher John Ferguson, 31, faced eight charges, including two of rape, before they were dismissed by Judge Michael Crosbie in the Dunedin District Court on Wednesday.

The complainant was first interviewed by police in 2013 when she was 13 years old. But during cross examination at trial this week, she admitted she had lied about the rape.

Speaking after the trial, Anne Stevens, Ferguson's lawyer, said her client would have been serving nine to 11 years' jail "If the right questions hadn't been asked".

"When the process works very well, then justice is done."

However, at the start of the trial, her client was named and labelled a "kiddy f....." on social media.

"People need to stop rushing for justice and calling people abusive, horrible names as though they are guilty … they don't understand the rule of law," she said.
A Rape Crisis Dunedin spokeswoman said the organisation believed, in accordance with the best evidence it had, that false allegations of rape and sexual abuse were "extremely rare".

"We believe all survivors who approach our confidential service and support them on their healing journey," she said in a statement.'

Also see: Damages unlikely for falsely accused man

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